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Tell the U.S. to Release the Records and Acknowledge the Crime

October 23, 2014

Please, sign our petition: http://chn.ge/1v50Edj

A big thanks to all who have signed so far

Although the massacre of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people (possibly more) in Indonesia in 1965-1967 is a crucial event in modern Indonesian political history, it remains mostly a footnote in the United States and elsewhere. In 2012, the documentary The Act of Killing shocked audiences throughout the world as perpetrators of the mass murder reenacted their violence. The film has fueled a debate within Indonesia and drawn attention internationally to events long kept out of U.S. history books: Events that the U.S. government facilitated and celebrated.

A companion film, The Look of Silence, is currently showing at film festivals. It focuses on the victims by following the investigation of Adi Rukun into the murder of his older brother who was killed during the violence.

While these are powerful films, any discussion of the events of 1965-1967 must include a discussion of the role of Western powers in this violence, including that of the United States. In conjunction, with the release of the film The Look of Silence, the East Timor and IndonesiaAction Network (ETAN) continues its call for accountability for those in the West who encouraged and assisted in the mass violence in Indonesia.

Join ETAN in urging the U.S. government to take two immediate steps:

1) Declassify and release all documents related to the U.S. role in the mass violence, including the CIA’s so-called "job files." These detail its covert operations.

2) The U.S. should formally acknowledge its role in facilitating the 1965-66 violence and its subsequent support for the brutalities of the Suharto regime.

Read ETAN’s Backgrounder- Breaking the Silence: The U.S. and Indonesia’s Mass Violence

Call for release of journalists

October 22, 2014

Box 68-419,
Auckland 1145.

22 October 2014

Media Release on behalf of West Papua Action Auckland, EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network

Call for media freedom and Release of French journalists in West Papua.

West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in Jayapura West Papua. We ask that the Minister also call for a guarantee that local people the journalists met with will be protected. This is crucial moment to remind newly inaugurated Indonesian President Joko Widodo of the promises he made during his election campaign to allow greater media freedom in the troubled territory.

The Minister must seize the moment to advise Mr Widodo of Parliament’s July resolution which called on the new President to uphold the right of ‘local and international journalists’ to report on the political situation in West Papua without risking imprisonment or harassment. Widodo plans to visit West Papua later this week.

“Now we are on the UN Security Council we must have our voice heard about this pivotal case –concerning the human rights not only of two dedicated journalists but also the rights of the people of West Papua,” said Tolich and Leadbeater speaking for their networks.

Yesterday, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Dandois appeared in court after nearly three months in detention. They were arrested while recording footage for a documentary and attempting to shine a light on the largely hidden freedom struggle in West Papua. They have been charged with visa violations but in the past the authorities have simply expelled journalists caught doing this.

Apart from a tiny number of closely monitored visits, international journalists have been barred from entry to West Papua. These restrictions violate the spirit if not the letter of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the universal right to inform as guaranteed in Article 19 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For further information Maire Leadbeater (WPPA) 09-815-9000 or 0274-436-957 or Paul Tolich 0275-935595 (EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network)

Papua arrests violate freedom of expression

October 17, 2014

http://www.ucanews.com/news/papua-arrests-violate-freedom-of-expression/72177

Papua arrests violate freedom of expression

Watchdog decries worsening situation in restive Indonesian region

  • Katharina R. Lestari and Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • October 15, 2014

The arrests on Monday of 49 Papuan protesters represent a deterioration of freedom of expression, Jakarta-based human rights watchdog Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (Imparsial) said today.

“Freedom of expression in Papua is the worst in Indonesia. There’s a distinction between Papua and other regions in this country. It can be seen particularly when the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) stages rallies,” executive director Poengky Indarti told ucanews.com on Wednesday.

Dozens of KNPB members were arrested Monday while staging peaceful rallies in front of immigration offices in Jayapura and Merauke. They were released after nine hours of detention.

The demonstrations were held to urge local authorities to release two French journalists arrested in August, along with three members of the Free Papua Movement.

Journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, who were detained while filming a documentary for Franco-German television channel Arte, stand accused of breaking Indonesia’s immigration laws because they were working on tourist visas instead of media visas.

Indarti called both the journalists’ arrests and charges spurious.

“If the journalists only violated immigration rules, just deport them. Why should they bother [with an investigation]?” said Indarti.

Indonesia is known to be overly sensitive about journalists covering issues in Papua, where a low-level insurgency against the central government has simmered for decades. The government rarely grants visas for foreigners to report independently in the region.

By branding all Papuans as would-be separatists, Indarti said the government has eroded basic freedoms of expression.

“If the local government can’t change their mindset, the situation won’t change,” she said.

Basoko Logo, spokesman of KNPB and one of the 49 detained protesters, urged the authorities to loosen its restrictions in Papua and West Papua provinces.

“Several police officers told us that we couldn’t stage a rally as we didn’t have permission,” he told ucanews.com. “Since when does a peaceful protest need approval from the local police? The rule says that we only need to inform them. The local police don’t have the right to ban us.”

Father John Djonga, an activist priest, acknowledged that in the past some KNPB protests had lead to violence.

“Still, the KNPB members must not be suppressed at all times,” he said.

The arrests “violate human rights,” the priest added.

Police sources could not be reached for comment.

66 arrested, thousands rally for release of gaoled French journos, defying Police crackdown on calls to respect press freedom

October 15, 2014

By the West Papua Media team and local stringers,

with additional reporting from Tabloid Jubi and MajalahSelengkah

October 15, 2014

Photos report can be viewed here: http://wp.me/p1aPlR-2zS

66 West Papuan activists were arrested by Indonesian Police in Jayapura and Merauke, Papua on Monday, as rallies calling for respect of press freedom and the release of two French journalists who continue to be imprisoned without charge, attracted thousands of people across Papua and Indonesia.

Indonesian police had prohibited the rallies in Jayapura and Merauke on the pretext that rally organisers the West Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat or KNPB) is an incorrectly registered organization, and that demonstrators may use the constitutionally legal but police banned Morning Star flag on banners, posters and paraphernalia.

Arrested by Indonesian police in Wamena on August 6 and 7, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat remain in immigration detention awaiting trial, with their detention repeatedly extended in an unprecedented case – which usually results in a simple deportation.

Indonesian police finally announced on October 14 that the two journalists would be facing trial on October 20, on immigration charges of "misusing a visa", a mere 70 days after their initial arrest with a local school teacher Areki Wanimbo, two farmers and human rights defender in Wamena.

The trial will begin on the Inauguration day of new Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, in a move clearly seen by most Papuan observers to be a direct challenge by colonial status-quo forces in Papua to the stated plans of Jokowi, to end the ban on foreign Press to report from Papua without restriction.

The plight of the two journalists has elicited record levels of support amongst Papuan civil society, in solidarity against the arrest of journalists carrying out their legitimate professional tasks.

The rallies planned to highlight the widely held view that the continued imprisonment of journalists seeking to report West Papua parallels with the criminalization of Papuan people’s right to Freedom of Expression, by Indonesian occupation forces.

Photos of rallies around Papua (Photo credits: KNPB, Ones Suhun WPM, and Majalah Selengkah

Many thousands of people openly defied the police ban, and attended rallies and marches in Timika, Nabire, Sorong, FakFak, Manokwari and remote Yahukimo held in solidarity with the detained journalists, and scores of fixers, human rights defenders and ordinary civilian sources that have been caught up in an unprecedented crackdown on the rights of Papuan people to speak with foreign journalists.

The rallies in Manokwari and Sorong were broken up forcibly by heavily armed riot police, however no injuries or arrests were reported in those centres.

In Java, members of the Papuan Students Alliance (Aliansi Mahasiswa Papua or AMP) in Surabaya, Jogjakarta and Bandung were joined at rallies by Indonesian civil society members. Despite being under close surveillance by Police, the Java based rallies allowed to proceed unhindered, highlighting the disparity in rights to Freedom of Expression between Indonesia and its occupied colony of West Papua.

26 KNPB activists were arrested at dawn in Merauke prior to the rally, as they gathered on the steps of the local Immigration office making speeches, and were forcibly dispersed and arrested by heavily armed riot police. Police later arrested another 20 at the KNPB office in Merauke, according to Tabloid Jubi.

In Jayapura, activists were outnumbered by heavily armed police, which intimidated many supporters into waiting at the sidelines of the area. KNPB activists regardless pushed on with a peaceful demonstration at Imbi park in Jayapura.

The 17 KNPB activists held a moving but silent vigil symbolising the absence of free media and freedom of speech in Papua. Jayapura Chairman of KNPB Agus Kosay told West Papua Media "we chose a silent action, silenced with a black cloth, because Indonesia silences democracy in Papua”

Police then moved in and arrested all 17, who are still being held by Police at time of writing.

"We want to let the world see, (Indonesia says it is) a democracy but the democracy practised is in fact anti-democratic for Papua," Kosay explained.

No Full Name Gender Occupation
1 Agus Kosay Male Chief KNPB Central
2 Bazoka Logo Male Spokesperson KNPB
3 Elieser Anggaingom Male Member
4 Regi Wenda Female Member
5 Ribka Komba Female Member
6 Jimi Boroay Male Member
7 Marice Mambrasar Female Member
8 Lazkar Zama Male Member
9 Isak Silak Male Student
10 Petrus Petege Male Student
11 Palina Pakage Wanita Member
12 Marten Suhun Male Member
13 Manu Moi Male Student
14 David Walilo Male Member
15 Deren Sorabut Male Member
16 Wilem Wandik Male Member
17 Tinus Heluka Male Member

Indonesian Police have regularly changed their at-times-wild allegations that Bourrat and Dandois – who openly admitted they were operating in West Papua without a highly restrictive and rarely granted Journalism Visa and reporting permit for West Papua – have variously been involved in subversion, illegal arms transfers, espionage, supporting armed groups, and part of a foreign conspiracy to undermine Indonesia. Despite the public slander campaigns in the media by the colonial Police forces in Papua, the final charge of "misuse of a visa" is clearly a backdown, at the same time as it is handing a gauntlet to the new administration of President Widodo.

An international campaign led by Paris-based Reporters without Borders has also called on Indonesia to immediately release the pair, saying they were engaged in nothing more that independent, legitimate journalism activities. A petition launched by Reporters Without Borders and the Bourrat and Dandois support committee has been signed by more than 8,000 people worldwide.

Reporters Without Borders via a press release on October 15 "appeals to the Indonesian justice system, now responsible for their continuing detention, to release the two journalists and dismiss all charges."

"Reporters Without Borders again calls for a display of leniency by the authorities in this case. Indonesia cannot pride itself on being the world’s third biggest democracy without respecting fundamental freedoms and human rights," it said.

The Paris-based media safety organisation also highlighted Indonesia’s obligations to Press Freedom, by noting "As one of the latest countries to sign the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in 2006, Indonesia cannot ignore the UN Human Rights Committee’s General Comment No. 34, adopted in 2011. This comment says that it is breach of the covenant to “restrict freedom of movement of journalists and human rights investigators within the state party (including to conflict-affected locations, the sites of natural disasters and locations where there are allegations of human rights abuses).”

West Papua Media network members have also been caught up in the Indonesian police and army crackdown since the arrest of Bourrat and Dadois, including several local personnel who have been subjected to repeated death threats from Indonesian intelligence agencies. Over 24 of our network members were under various degrees of security threats within West Papua, with family members threatened for speaking with the French journalists. West Papua Media had been providing legitimate journalistic fixing services to Bourrat and Dandois for interviews with civil society figures outside of the Highlands. Protection measures have now been put in place, enabling network members to return to newsgathering tasks over the last week, after having operations and reportage severely curtailed by serious security threats and incidents.

Physical threats and active surveillance to WPM personnel were also extended to key members of it editorial staff in Australia, with Indonesian Police Spokesman Sulistyo Pudjo saying that WPM Editor Nick Chesterfield was also to be charged with Espionage and subversion, and would be seeking and attempting extradition to Indonesia. West Papua Media is still exploring legal options against the Indonesian police for defamation and stalking by sending its agents to carry out illegal activities on Australian soil.

Sign ETAN’s petition. Tell the U.S. to reveal…

October 15, 2014
photo.jpg John Miller:
Sign ETAN’s petition. Tell the U.S. to reveal all it knows about the mass killings in Indonesia and acknowledge the crime.

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Sign Now! U.S. Release the Records, Acknowledge U.S. Role in 1965/66 Mass Violence in Indonesia
Although the massacre of between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people in Indonesia in 1965-1967 is a crucial event in modern Indonesian political history, …

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AWPA: Summary of events in West Papua for September 2014

October 14, 2014

Australia West Papua Association (Sydney)

PO Box 28, Spit Junction, NSW 2088

Summary of events in West Papua for September 2014- 11 October

The Australia West Papua Association offers its condolences to the family and friends of John Ondawame who died in Port Vila on the 4 September from a heat attack. John had dedicated his life to the liberation of West Papua. He will be sorely missed. John was from the Amungme tribe in Mimika regency in the territory of West Papua. He was the vice-chairman of the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL). After Indonesia’s take over of the former Dutch colony of Netherlands New Guinea and seeing first hand Indonesia’s brutal occupation, John eventually took to the bush and became a member of the OPM, the Free Papua Movement. After crossing the border into PNG to discuss an incident of hostage taking (by the OPM) with the PNG Government, he was arrested and eventually accepted by Sweden as a refugee, gaining Swedish nationality.

During his time in Australia he made many friends while campaigning to raise awareness about West Papua. He met his first wife Dolly Zonggonau while studying here. He obtained his PHD degree in political science from the ANU in Canberra in 2000, MSc degree from the University of Western Sydney in 1995, Graduate Diploma from the University of Sydney in 1994. He was one of the founding coordinators of the West Papua Project at the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and also one of the founding members (with Rex Rumakiek) of the Australia West Papua Association in Sydney. His PhD resulted in his book, "One People One Soul" West Papuan Nationalism and the Organisasi Papua Meredka (2010)

In 2003 he gained residence in Vanuatu, one of the few countries supporting West Papua in international fora. He died on the 4th of September 2014 in Port Vila, Vanuatu from a massive heart attack. He leaves behind his second wife Leisani from FIJI and his young son Jacob. It says something of John’s stature that at his burial in Vila the Prime Minister of Vanuatu Joe Natuman, with other politicians attended the ceremony. The Prime Minister of Vanuatu also mentioned John in his statement delivered at the 691h Session of the United Nations General Assembly 29th September 2014, UN Headquarters, New York

“I cannot close this section of my speech without paying tribute to late Dr. John Ondowame, a Freedom fighter from West Papua who passed away last month while in exile in my country. He was laid to rest in my country as a hero who had fought for the rights to self-determination for the people of West Papua. He and other martyrs had a dream that one day the United Nations and all nations advocating and promoting the democratic principles will, hear their cries and deliver the promise of a self-determined future. At his funeral service, I stated that his struggle for freedom and justice will continue to be our struggle until colonialism is eradicated”.

Memorial services were held in West Papua and the region in his memory. Photos of the service in Vila at http://gallery.imagicity.com/imageview.html?category=john and in Sydney at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/photos-of-memorial-service-for-dr-john.html

French Journalists

Much of the media attention on West Papua in the past month focused on the arrest of the two French Journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois who were arrested on the 6th of August in Wamena and remain detained in Jayapura. They could face up to five years in prison. Their case has now been handed over to Papua’s chief prosecutor and it was reported that it will go to court within seven days. The media organisation Reporters Without Borders has launched a petition for the immediate release of the pair. Its Secretary General, Christophe Deloire, says they did not apply for press visas because they are rarely granted, and would have resulted in restrictions on their ability to report freely. http://pcij.org/blog/2014/10/08/free-the-french Numerous rallies have been held by solidarity groups calling for their release including in New Zealand and Australia. Photos of the Sydney rally at http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/photos-of-rally-for-french-journalists.html

On Monday 13 October a peaceful rally by Papuan Students will be held in Bandung in West Java calling for the release of journalists. In New Zealand Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has urged the returning government in New Zealand to make good on the recently passed parliament resolution to press for media freedom in West Papua. In Australia the Senate passed a motion by Greens senator Richard Di Natale with the explicit support from the Foreign Minister’s office, expressing concern over the imprisonment of two French journalists for reporting in Indonesia’s restive province using tourist visas. The Senate called for the Australian government to request Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat’s release. http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/genpdf/chamber/hansards/4630d1fc-e7c9-4b04-8c13-d1aa918c703f/0098/hansard_frag.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

Papuans behind bars

In its latest update Papuans behind bars reported that at the end of September 2014, there were at least 74 political prisoners in Papuan jails. It also noted that reports of attacks against lawyers in Papua indicate that the situation is becoming worse for those involved in human rights work. Full report at http://www.papuansbehindbars.org/?p=3044

Tapol released an appeal concerning the Intimidation of prominent Papuan lawyer and human rights defender Gustaf Kawer which has provoked a local, national and international outcry. Mr Kawer, who has provided legal defence for numerous cases involving peaceful political activity and indigenous land disputes, has bizarrely been summoned by Papua police as a witness in a case against himself. The case has been brought by a court judge after Mr Kawer criticized the judge for ignoring his request for the trial to be delayed, to allow himself and his client to be present at the hearing of a case involving an indigenous land dispute with the government. To date Mr Kawer has received two summonses from the police and is threatened with prosecution under Articles 211 and 212 of the Penal Code. If proceedings continue Mr Kawer could potentially face up to four years imprisonment.

http://www.tapol.org/news/outcry-over-intimidation-prominent-papuan-lawyer

AWPA also wrote concerning the intimidation againstGustaf Kawer http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/awpa-has-written-to-indonesian.html

Amnesty International released an U/A concerning an attack on another human rights lawyer Anum Siregar in Wamena, Papua province. Anum Siregar was attacked by an unknown person at about 11pm on 16 September on the way back to her hotel from a court hearing. The attacker, armed with a knife, stole her bag and injured her hand before fleeing the scene. Anum Siregar received treatment for her injuries at Wamena hospital, requiring at least two stitches. http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/asset/ASA21/027/2014/fr/49f299a7-7091-4032-9788-370ba48fc5da/asa210272014en.html

In brief

OPM member killed. The Jakarta Globe reported that a member of the OPM was killed and several were wounded in a firefight with security officers at an airfield in Lanny Jaya district on the 17. The shootout is believed to have involved about 30 OPM fighters from a group led by Puron Wenda.

Soldier killed. A soldier was killed in an armed attack in Puncak Jaya Regency in Papua on Sept. 25. A spokesman for the Papua military command Lt. Col. Rikas Hidayatullah told the Jakarta Globe that four members of the Indonesian Military (TNI) were ambushed at a traditional market in Ilaga on Sept. 25. The soldiers, who were picking up supplies for the inauguration of Ilaga district’s new chief, were fired at by a group of 10 men, he said. A soldier identified as Second Private Abraham was reportedly shot in the head. The attackers then snatched Abraham’s weapon before fleeing into the jungle. No other soldiers were injured.

NZ Foreign Minister urges media access for Papua

RNZI 15 September. New Zealand’s Foreign Minister has expressed hope that Indonesia’s president-elect Joko Widodo will open up Papua region to international media. This comes as two French journalists remain detained in Jayapura following their arrests in Papua over a month ago for alleged visa violations. Johnny Blades reports. "During his recent campaign, Jokowi said there was no impediment to opening up Papua which is restricted for foreign journalists. New Zealand’s Murray McCully says his government hopes that once in power, Jokowi will move to relax the rules related to media access and ensure that journalists have the opportunity to report on Papua. Mr McCully also voiced concern about recent Indonesian police mistreatment of two young West Papuans. Amnesty International says the pair, who had painted pro-independence signs in Manokwari, were tortured, beaten, forced to roll in a sewer filled with dirty water and to drink paint. One of them is facing an incitement charge."

Statements on Papua Delivered before Human Rights Council

The following two statements on the situation of human rights defenders and freedom of expression in Papua which were delivered on 15 and 16 September 2014 during the 27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. http://humanrightspapua.org/news/113-statements-on-papua-delivered-before-human-rights-council

Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to India’s Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai for their struggles against the suppression of children and for young people’s rights, including the right to education..

For the second year in a row, Free West Papua Campaign founder Benny Wenda had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, an honour in itself.

Indonesian government to construct road in Papua`s middle mountain area

Kamis, 25 September 2014 1

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) – The Public Works Ministry is prioritizing the construction of a road in the middle mountain area of Papua Province giving the local people another option besides air transportation. His institution is prioritizing the road development that connects several districts, Chief of the Tenth National Road Project Agency, Thomas Setiabudi, told ANTARA here Thursday. The roads will connect districts that are located in the mountain area with areas located on the coast, Thomas said. The ministry is developing a road that connects Wagete to Timika, and from there it will continue to Paniai, Nabire and Ilaga districts. They will also develop a road from Wamena-Habema-Kenyam that will continue to the Dekai-Oksibil-Iwur-Tanah Merah areas, Thomas said. The road will connect to other areas such as Yetti, Senggi, Usku and Mamberamo apart from Tenggon, Elelim and Wamena. The Papuan people can use several roads that have been connected including Wamena to Mulia, Wamena to Tiom and Nabire to Enarotali. "Even the road that connects Jayapura and Mamberamo can be used even though it is only connected by a bridge," Thomas said. Additionally, the ministry will also develop several roads that connect the coastal areas such as Jayapura-Sarmi and Serui-Menawi-Saubeba. "We hope none of the regions will be isolated after the increasing number of areas that will be connected through the roads," Thomas added. (Uu.B019/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

West Papua meeting confirmed for December

RNZI 26 September 2014. Vanuatu’s West Papua Unification Committee has confirmed its conference in Port Vila will now be held from the 4th of December following the National Day and flag raising ceremony on the first. The chairman of the committee Pastor Allan Nafuki says the delay will allow the 80 invited West Papuan delegates to raise funds and prepare their travel documentation to ensure maximum attendance. He says the conference is to provide an avenue for the different groupings in West Papua to come to an agreement on a unified bid for membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group. A formal membership application by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation was knocked back by the MSG earlier this year, whose leaders called for a more representative bid.

Opinion pieces/press releases/reports etc.

Student spies Lateline Report

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s4102371.htm

A reply from DFAT to AWPA letter of

http://awpasydneynews.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/dfat-reply-to-awpa-letter.html

Q&A: Australia’s reaction to arrest of French journalists in West Papua http://theconversation.com/qanda-australias-reaction-to-arrest-of-french-journalists-in-west-papua-32503

Revisiting Indo-Oz defense treaty sans mutual trust http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/09/09/revisiting-indo-oz-defense-treaty-sans-mutual-trust.html

Early ‘minefield’ to test Jokowi

http://news.asiaone.com/news/world/early-minefield-test-jokowi

Thanks to MIFEE, 3.6% of Indonesia’s Emissions produced in Merauke.

https://awasmifee.potager.org/?p=1073

AT A PROTEST FOR TWO FRENCH JOURNALISTS JAILED IN WEST PAPUA

http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/some-australians-and-new-zealanders-protested-the-jailing-of-two-french-journalists-in-west-papua

Is the Scottish referendum anything we can learn from?

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/09/24/is-scottish-referendum-anything-we-can-learn.html

Freeport’s Indonesia copper mine must improve safety or face more protests – union

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/08/indonesia-freeport-accident-idUSL3N0S319220141008

September 2014: Culture of impunity in Papua threatens human rights and democracy

October 9, 2014

At the end of September 2014, there were at least 74 political prisoners
in Papuan jails.

New reports of attacks against lawyers in Papua indicate that the
situation is becoming worse for those involved in human rights work. A
public attack on Latifah Anum Siregar, a lawyer with the Democracy
Alliance for Papua (Aliansi Demokrasi untuk Papua, ALDP) and the failure
of Indonesian authorities to end legal intimidation towards Gustaf Kawer,
as reported in our previous update, demonstrates the dangers faced by
lawyers involved in politically sensitive cases.

Reports from the Advocacy Network for Upholding Law and Human Rights
(Jaringan Advokasi Penegakan Hukum dan HAM Pegunungan Tengah Papua,
JAPH&HAM), based in Wamena, described police complicity in allowing
violence to continue during a fight that broke out between two groups in
Lanny Jaya. Two traditional honai houses belonging to tribal leader and
political detainee Areki Wanimbo were burned down by an opposing group
during the violence, whilst Jayawijaya Regional police reportedly watched
and failed to stop the incident from occuring. Another incident involving
police complicity in allowing violence reportedly took place in Youtefa
Market in Abepura. David Boleba, an indigenous Papuan, was publically
tortured, mutilated and murdered by a group of non-Papuan youths,
reportedly in the presence of an Abepura District police officer. Again,
the police officer took no action against the perpetrators.

There were several reports of random acts of police brutality against
indigenous Papuans. A 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg three times by
members of the police Mobile Brigades (Brigades Mobil, Brimob) for simply
blocking their vehicle. In another case, a student of Cenderawasih
University (Universitas Cenderawasih, UNCEN) and activist with the West
Papua National Committee (Komite Nasional Papua Barat, KNPB) Rigo Wenda
was publically tortured in Waena by Indonesian army officers with bayonet
blades in a random act of violence.

Information received by ALDP detailed the torture and cruel and degrading
treatment faced by 18 men arrested in Wamena in the Boycott Presidential
Elections case. Despite the fact that they were initially arrested for
peacefully calling for an election boycott, they were instead charged for
reportedly making and using explosives. The criminalisation of the freedom
to not participate in a democratic process is an undemocratic step
backwards for Indonesia.

Indigenous Papuans from the highlands, such as areas like Wamena, are
often automatically deemed to be separatists by Indonesian authorities.
Because of this stigmatisation, security forces often take a heavy handed
approach with highlanders and single them out for arrests, intimidation
and torture. Reports received this month described continued violent
reprisals against indigenous communities in Wamena. Security forces
continued to burn down houses as they hunt for members of armed
pro-independence movements.

Indonesian authorities have so far failed to investigate into the murder
of KNPB Sorong leader Martinus Yohame. It remains to be seen if steps will
be taken towards accountability and justice, or if like previous cases of
murder of Papuan activists, it will go uninvestigated and unpunished. The
entrenched culture of impunity that currently runs throughout police and
military units in Papua poses a serious threat to human rights and
democracy in Indonesia.

You can read the full update here:
http://www.papuansbehindbars.org/?p=3044

The full Update is also attached – we hope you find this information useful.

With best wishes,

Papuans Behind Bars team

Papuans Behind Bars September 2014.docx

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